web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex


Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex

Author: Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider

Publisher: Jewish Publication Society

 

 

The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

 

A Torah scroll, however, may not contain notations. Thus, Jews used to write codices (sing. codex) that contained, not only the Torah’s text, but punctuation (nekudos), musical signs (trop), and additional notes along the margins that assisted soferim who wished to write Torah scrolls (and other Biblical books) properly and accurately.

 

The oldest extant, and most authoritative, codex is the Aleppo Codex, or “Crown of Aleppo.” Many people believe that it is this codex that the Rambam refers to in his discussion of writing a sefer Torah in the Mishneh Torah.

 

This codex is also the subject of a new book,The Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex, by Drs. Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider – both scholars of note (Tawil is a professor of Hebrew Language and Literature at Yeshiva University and Schneider is a highly-respected international lawyer with a special interest in the Bible). In it, the authors describe, in detail, the history and tribulations of this codex. “Who wrote it?” “How did it reach Aleppo, Syria?” are just some of the questions the book discusses.

 

The authors also describe, at some length, the events of 1947 that led up to an Arab pogrom against the Aleppo Jewish community and the destruction of the synagogue that housed the codex. Miraculously, most of the codex was saved and eventually made its way to Israel. When the codex resurfaced in Israel, however, most of the pages from the Torah were missing. The surviving portions were largely from Nevi’I’m and Kesuvim.

 

Were the other pages destroyed? Lost? Tawil and Schneider offer several different explanations, and hold out some hope that these pages may yet surface (being held, in the meantime, by members of the former Aleppo Jewish community).

 

All in all, Tawil and Schneider have managed to produce a book that, not only discusses the details of writing a Torah scroll and the history of the Aleppo Codex, but also presents a tale of mystery and intrigue that may yet be solved to the delight of scholars and the Jewish community.

 

Thus, the book, which includes wonderful photographs and interesting endnotes, appeals to readers of all sorts. As usual, the Jewish Publication Society has produced a truly fine work.

 

Hopefully, we will soon celebrate the resurfacing of the Aleppo’s Codex’s missing pages, and their relocation in Jerusalem.

 

Zalman Alpert is reference librarian at Yeshiva University’s Mendel Gottesman Library of Judaica.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama
Obama’s Creativity: Signing Bonus Substituting for Sanctions Lifting
Latest Sections Stories
Lewis-041715-Jewish-Soldiers

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

Jerusalem Heights Penthouse

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

Schonfeld-logo1

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

After the last of Austria’s Jews were murdered, Albert confiscated whatever Jewish property remained.

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

More Articles from Zalman Alpert

The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

The Jewish people are known as the “people of the book,” and over the centuries it has sacrificed much not only to live by that book, the Torah, but to maintain the integrity of its text as well.

Prior to World War II, Jewish religious culture, customs and style varied from country to country in Eastern Europe.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-crown-of-aleppo-the-mystery-of-the-oldest-hebrew-bible-codex/2010/08/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: